AMBASSADORS: Victoria Crynes, front row left, with her fellow ambassadors at the Hansen Institute in San Diego, California. She has served as an ambassador for the Fulbright U.K. Scotland Summer Institute and the Taiwan U.S. Sister Alliance Student Ambassador Program.
Victoria Crynes represented the U.S. in an international student ambassador program called the Hansen Summer Institute on Leadership and International Cooperation in San Diego, California this summer. She and 24 other students from all over the world were accepted into the highly-competitive program to learn conflict resolution on the global scale.
“The Hansen Institute served as an ideal training ground for my career aspirations to serve as a U.S. diplomat,” Crynes said. “The program is unique in that American Fellows were provided an opportunity to develop intimate relationships with Fellows from 20 conflict-torn regions such as Brazil, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.”
The program teaches students how to handle international conflicts using conflict resolution skills, while also promoting social entrepreneurship through hands-on training and equipping them to become young leaders and scholars in the business or political arenas of his or her country.
“During the program, Director Ronald Bee was interviewed by multiple national news networks regarding the Trump-Putin Summit,” Crynes said. “I was learning from his expertise in negotiations with Israel, Palestine and many other Middle Eastern countries.”
Students were also able to learn from one another as they encounter different ideals and cultural backgrounds.
“While learning conflict resolution skills, my peers were sharing stories of their tumultuous experiences with conflict, corrupt government, racism and ethnic cleansing,” Crynes shared.
Through listening to the stories of others, Crynes’ became more aware of the cultural influences around her.
“With shock, I listened as Kirill, the Russian Fellow, explained to the Ukrainian Fellow that Russian did not invade their country,” Crynes explained. “In moments like these, we began to understand the role of media, education systems and the bias within we each live.”
Crynes’ discovered her love of politics at a young age and credits her deep understanding of the topic to her AP Comparative Government course, taught by Michael Horn, when she attended Jenks High School.
“The Institute is achieving its mission in facilitating international friendships among individuals with a commitment to peaceful collaboration and change,” Crynes said.
The Jenks graduate will pursue her Master’s in International Relations and Politics at the University of Cambridge this fall.
“I realize that we live in a world of political chaos and economic instability; however, I believe that one person can make a difference. I aspire to achieve my one day of success that will change our global community,” Crynes said.